David Schaper

David Schaper is a NPR National Desk reporter based in Chicago.

In this role, he covers news in Chicago and around the Midwest. Additionally he reports on a broad range of important social, cultural, political, and business issues in the region.

The range of Schaper's reporting has included profiles of service members killed in Iraq, and members of a reserve unit returning home to Wisconsin. He produced reports on the important political issues in key Midwest battleground states, education issues related to "No Child Left Behind," the bankruptcy of United Airlines as well as other aviation and transportation issues, and the devastation left by tornadoes, storms, blizzards, and floods in the Midwest.

Prior to joining NPR, Schaper spent nine years working as an award-winning reporter and editor for Chicago Public Radio's WBEZ-FM. For three years he covered education issues, reporting in-depth on the problems, financial and otherwise, plaguing Chicago's public schools.

In 1996, Schaper was named assistant news editor, managing the station's daily news coverage and editing a staff of six. He continued general assignment reporting, covering breaking news, politics, transportation, housing, sports, and business.

When he left WBEZ, Schaper was the station's political reporter, editor, and a frequent fill-in news anchor and program host. Additionally, he served as a frequent guest panelist on public television's Chicago Tonight and Chicago Week in Review.

Since beginning his career at Wisconsin Public Radio's WLSU-FM, Schaper worked in Chicago as a writer and editor for WBBM-AM and as a reporter and anchor for WXRT-FM. He worked at commercial stations WMAY-AM in Springfield, IL; and WIZM-AM and FM in La Crosse, WI; and at public stations WSSU-FM (now WUIS) and WDCB-FM in in Illinois.

Schaper earned a Bachelor of Science at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and an Master of Arts from the University of Illinois-Springfield.

Pages

The Two-Way
9:42 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Midwest Town Braces For More Steel Layoffs

U.S. Steel's Granite City Works in 2011.
David Schaper NPR

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 12:40 am

U.S. Steel will be shutting down a steel mill in southern Illinois, laying off more than 2000 workers. The company says in a statement that it will consolidate its North American flat-rolled operations and temporarily close its Granite City Works plant, which is across the Mississippi River from St. Louis.

Read more
It's All Politics
5:13 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Chicago Mayor's Race Reveals Deep Divide In Democratic Party

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel failed to capture a majority of the vote last month, forcing him into a runoff. It's highlighting a divide among Democrats playing out nationally.
Charles Rex Arbogast AP

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 6:39 pm

One of the nation's savviest politicians is in an unexpected fight.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, President Obama's former White House chief of staff, is in an unprecedented runoff election next month.

The challenger, Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, contends that Emanuel favors the rich and powerful over working-class Chicagoans. But Emanuel is firing back, attacking Garcia for having no plan to deal with the city's deep financial problems.

Read more
All Tech Considered
4:29 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

Silicon Prairie: Tech Startups Find A Welcoming Home In The Midwest

Lincoln, Neb., is home to several startups, which use the city's low cost of living and high quality of life to attract workers.
Nicolas Henderson Flickr

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 6:50 am

Some startup entrepreneurs are leaving the high tech hot spots of San Francisco, New York and the Silicon Valley for greener pastures in a place that actually has greener pastures: Lincoln, Neb.

In fact, one of the secrets to the economic success of Lincoln, a city with one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, is a surprisingly strong tech startup community that is part of what some in the region are calling the Silicon Prairie.

Read more
Business
5:00 am
Thu March 12, 2015

Improving U.S. Economy Boosts Spring Air Travel

Originally published on Thu March 12, 2015 6:37 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Get ready for longer airport lines. Airlines are forecasting a big increase in air travel this spring. Profits are up as well. But as NPR's David Schaper reports, do not expect airfares to drop anytime soon.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:08 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

House Approves Amtrak Funding, Rewrites Rules To Allow Furry Riders

Amtrak conductor Michael Laubauskas talks on a radio Feb. 19 as his train departs Trenton, N.J., for Washington, D.C. The U.S. House passed an Amtrak funding bill Wednesday that splits Amtrak's high-ridership Northeast Corridor line that runs from Boston to Washington from the less profitable part of the system.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Fri March 6, 2015 1:12 pm

Instead of fighting like cats and dogs, Congress appears to be coming together for a change, and maybe it's because of our feline and canine friends.

In a rare bipartisan vote, the House Wednesday approved an Amtrak funding bill that will keep the trains running for another four years, and allow some pets to ride along on the intercity passenger rail service.

Read more
U.S.
2:58 am
Mon March 2, 2015

A Nearly Recession-Proof City Is Not Slowing Down

Lincoln has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in revitalizing its downtown, a historic area called Haymarket, to create a more culturally vibrant urban center that is helping the city keep and attract young adults.
David Schaper NPR

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 7:15 am

At 2.5 percent, Lincoln, Neb., has one of the lowest jobless figures in the country. But that's nothing new — the city has ranked at or near the top of the nation, with one of the lowest unemployment rates for years, even during the Great Recession.

But on a recent visit, it's clear that Lincoln is not resting on its laurels. It's working hard at keeping and drawing talent to this city of nearly 300,000.

Read more
Around the Nation
4:20 am
Wed February 18, 2015

W.Va. Train Derailment Raises Safety Questions About Newer Tankers

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 6:24 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Read more
The Two-Way
2:16 am
Thu February 5, 2015

U.N. Agency Sets New Standards For Tracking Aircraft In Flight

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 7:11 am

The United Nations' aviation organization is endorsing a new standard meant to keep air traffic authorities and airlines from losing track of a jetliner, such as Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

That plane disappeared into the Indian Ocean almost a year ago with 239 people on board.

Under the new policy, commercial airliners would be required to transmit their location every 15 minutes and every minute if in distress.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:42 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

To Keep Planes From Disappearing, NTSB Urges Constant Tracking

One of many relatives who waited in vain for news of loved ones aboard missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The NTSB hopes to get faster answers by requiring better technology, especially on planes that fly over large bodies of water.
Andy Wong AP

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 11:48 pm

In a response to recent incidents in which large commercial airliners have vanished into oceans, the National Transportation Safety Board is calling for new regulations requiring all passenger planes that fly over large bodies of water to be equipped with more sophisticated flight tracking technologies.

Read more
Economy
4:02 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Illinois' Financial Condition Is Dire, Gov. Rauner Warns

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 7:40 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And it's budget time in many states. Most are now projecting strong growth, even surpluses - not, however, the state of Illinois. There, a gaping budget hole appears to be even bigger than previously thought, as NPR's David Schaper reports.

Read more
Politics
4:01 am
Mon January 19, 2015

Private Sector Included In Plan To Finance Infrastructure Repairs

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 6:37 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Economy
4:55 am
Thu January 8, 2015

FAA Clarifies Fuel Tax Rule, Municipalities To Lose Needed Funds

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 6:44 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Read more
Around the Nation
3:24 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

In Midwest, Bitterly Cold Temps Keep Students At Home

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 5:17 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Read more
Around the Nation
3:18 pm
Thu December 25, 2014

Chicago Officials Spar With South Dakota Over Airport Ads

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 11:13 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Read more
Around the Nation
2:20 am
Wed December 24, 2014

The Year In Air Travel: Packed Planes And More Perks — For A Price

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 9:37 am

It's been a good year for commercial airlines.

With the economy recovering, more people are getting on planes and flying for both business and pleasure. And the cost of fuel, one of the airlines' biggest expenses, is dropping.

But as anyone traveling for the holidays can tell you, airfares remain high. And many frequent fliers at Chicago O'Hare International Airport say they wouldn't give the airlines perfect grades this year.

Read more

Pages